Quiet NJ Beaches
August 30, 2007 9:25 AM   Subscribe

What are the quietest, least crowded public beaches within an hour and a half drive of Princeton, NJ?

This is going to be a bustling weekend at the Jersey shore, and I am hoping to hit the beach but avoid the crowds.
posted by amro to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
 
I am a life long resident of the Garden State. I am afraid that asking this question about a quiet beach on Labor Day weekend is like asking "which is the quietest heavy metal rock band?"

Within and hour and a half of Princeton rules out pretty much everything south of Atlantic city. I was going to recommend Cape May since it is less of a party town and more of a family resort but it is also a far drive.

about 2 hours away is Barneget Bay. I have never been to a NJ beach North of Long Beach Island but I have not heard bad things about Barneget.

Point pleasant is within 1.5 hrs of you but I think it is one of the more popular and therefore crowded beaches.

I have to ask: Is the OP from NJ? I do not want to be negative in any way but if this question was asked in person to someone from NJ the OP would be laughed at. The NJ shore is wonderful but there are two times to avoid it at all cost, memorial day weekend and labor day weekend. I might consider July 4th too. I have made it a tradition to head away from the shore on these weekends. The mountains are MUCH quieter...

posted by remthewanderer at 10:05 AM on August 30, 2007


Is the OP from NJ? I do not want to be negative in any way but if this question was asked in person to someone from NJ the OP would be laughed at.

remthewanderer, I grew up in South Jersey and there are beaches there that never get terribly crowded, but thanks for playing.
posted by amro at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2007


Well, Gunnison Beach is within 1.5 hours of you, and while I've never been there on Labor Day weekend, the beach is usually not very crowded. This is probably because it's a clothing-optional beach.

@remthewanderer: Point Pleasant is overly crowded even when it's not Labor Day weekend. I can't imagine what it'll be like this weekend.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:34 AM on August 30, 2007


Loveladies on LBI, although I'm not sure exactly how far away from you that is. There's hardly any public beach access (there are a few public parking lots nestled amongst the pine trees on the beach side) and the beaches are pretty lightly populated. Spray and Brandt beaches too. If you go to LBI, you turn left after the bridge to head to Loveladies, right to go to Spray and Brandt - they have several public access points each. Don't get me wrong, there will definitely be people there but nothing insane like the more popular beaches. I find myself on the beach at Loveladies almost every weekend for one reason or another and it's pretty empty, but I've never been there on Labor Day weekend.

Be prepared for disgustingly slow traffic, wherever you go. I'm sure you already know all about it.
posted by iconomy at 10:50 AM on August 30, 2007


Staten Island!

It has public beaches, that are surprisingly not half bad, and since SI is not crowded compared to much of the rest of the megalopolis, and since many New Yorkers leave New York on a holiday week-end I'd head right out to New Dorp Beach or any of the other beaches. They've got sand, they've got boardwalks.

Plus when you get bored you can always hike the greenbelt. And well, most New Yorkers think Staten Island really is New Jersey anyway.
posted by xetere at 10:52 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Amro, please enlighten me with some South NJ beaches that are not crowded on Labor Day weekend? :)

I can definitely see where your question is coming from. I grew up in south NJ too and I have no idea what the shore is like north of LBI. As far as I am concerned North NJ = dirty, and I can say that now that I live in Essex county.

South Jersey for life!
posted by remthewanderer at 11:15 AM on August 30, 2007


I grew up in south NJ too and I have no idea what the shore is like north of LBI.

Then I'm not sure why you posted an answer in the first place.
posted by amro at 11:41 AM on August 30, 2007


I actually said that in my first post. Just because I have never been to a place does not mean I have not heard good or bad things.

I was trying to be light hearted while still answering your question. If you don't like my answers please feel free to flag me.
posted by remthewanderer at 12:34 PM on August 30, 2007


Island Beach State Park.
posted by pammo at 1:22 PM on August 30, 2007


Nthing LBI. I'm there now. In Loveladies. It's quiet. The beaches aren't empty, but they are certainly quieter and cleaner than Pt. Pleasant and the other beaches slightly north of here. I've heard nice things about Ocean Grove too though. Gmaps says it's about 1:49 from here to Princeton, so that might be a bit more than you want to travel.
posted by zackola at 2:12 PM on August 30, 2007


Seconding Island Beach State Park. That place is gigantic. Even on labor day I can't imagine it filling up. Then again, I want less people in Point Pleasant when I'm down there this weekend :).
posted by datacenter refugee at 11:50 PM on August 31, 2007


I can confirm that Point Pleasant Beach is pretty crowded. I also don't know if you're going to have any luck this weekend, as half of Massachusetts seemed to be headed down I-95 through Connecticut today.
posted by oaf at 6:46 PM on September 1, 2007


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